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Punjab and Haryana High Court to have record 13 women judges

Advocate, 9 judicial officers to be administered oath on Wednesday

Punjab and Haryana High Court to have record 13 women judges

Photo for representation only.



Tribune News Service

Saurabh Malik

Chandigarh, November 1

For the first time since it was established more than a century ago, the Punjab and Haryana High Court will have 13 women Judges with the President appointing nine judicial officers from the both the States of Punjab and Haryana.

The appointment of advocate Kuldeep Tiwari, too has been notified. The High Court, prior to this, had a record of 10 women Judges.

Barnala District and Sessions Judge Kamaljit Lamba has, meanwhile, been appointed Registrar (Vigilance) in the High Court.

Available information suggests Chief Justice Ravi Shanker Jha will administer oath on November 2 to advocate Tewari and judicial officers Gurbir Singh, Deepak Gupta, Amarjot Bhatti, Ritu Tagore, Manisha Batra, Harpreet Kaur Jeewan, Sukhvinder Kaur, Sanjiv Berry and Vikram Aggarwal. Five of them are from the State of Punjab, the others from Haryana.

The appointment of judicial officers comes after almost three years. The last time judicial officers were elevated as High Court Judges was on November 28, 2019. As many as seven judicial officers were recommended then appointed.

The High Court, with their appointment, has another “first” to its credit. The number of High Court Judges, with their elevation, will for the first time cross the 60-mark. The High Court currently has 56 Judges against the sanctioned strength of 85. The number will go up to 66 once the judicial officers are administered oath. At one point of time, the High Court’s sanctioned strength was 65 only.

The recommendations come at a time when the High Court is staring at a crisis, with more than 10 Judges retiring by next year, including Justice Tejinder Singh Dhindsa, Justice Harinder Singh Sidhu, Justice B.S. Walia, Justice Jaishree Thakur, Justice Harminder Singh Madaan, Justice Sudhir Mittal, Justice Harnaresh Singh Gill and Justice Ashok Kumar Verma.

Justice Jaswant Singh and Justice Sabina, Judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court but transferred out, also retire next year. The tenure of the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court, Justice Rajesh Bindal, whose parent high court is Punjab and Haryana, will end in April 2023, if not elevated to the Supreme Court.

National Judicial Data Grid figures reveal that the High Court has more than 4,49,693 pending cases, including 1,67,817 criminal matters. It is suspected that many of the petitioners in these cases are no more there to pursue their grievances.

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